Turkey farmers explain why prices are so high as Thanksgiving favorites' costs soar

Turkey family farm explains bird shortages

Inflation, worker shortages and supply chain problems are causing an increase in turkey prices, a turkey-farming couple told Fox News.

"You name it, equipment, fuel, labor, everything," Kyle Scott, who co-owns Old Glory Farm in Wisconsin with his wife, Deanna, told Fox News. "There's just inflation. Everywhere we look, every direction we turn, everything seems to be more expensive."

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 Deanna Scott said: "The price of the poults has gone up. The price of the feed has gone up, the price of shipping has gone up, the price of labor has gone up. And unfortunately, to be turning any kind of profit, the price of the turkey has to go up."

The price of Thanksgiving foods, such as turkey, russet potatoes, sweet potatoes and other staples, has risen 5% compared to last year, according to the Department of Agriculture. It also reported that 8- to 16-pound frozen turkeys increased in price by 27% from a year ago. 

Turkey-farming couple Kyle and Deanna Scott look after their turkeys. 

Turkey-farming couple Kyle and Deanna Scott look after their turkeys. 

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Despite facing increased expenses due to inflation, the couple has sold out of their stock for the year due to increased demand, they told Fox News.

"We sold out a good three weeks before Thanksgiving, though it wasn't easy," Kyle told Fox News. "There was a high demand for it and there apparently was a turkey shortage."

Some families are having their turkey orders canceled due to shortages, according to Deanna, who manages the farm's sales and marketing.

A shopper checks the price of frozen turkey

A shopper checks the price of frozen turkey

"What we're hearing is that, due to a shortage of employees, that [suppliers] are unable to process enough turkeys to send to the grocery stores that [customers] preordered at," Deanna said. 

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"We're seeing with some of these people that are calling us at the last minute that they ordered their turkeys back in May or June from some of these grocery stores, and they're just getting called now and being told you're out of luck," she continued.  

A curious turkey at Old Glory Farm

A curious turkey at Old Glory Farm

But David Anderson, a livestock economist, said turkey production is down 5% this year and that overall production is at the lowest point since 2015.

In response to soaring turkey prices, Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday requested the Department of Justice investigate anti-competitive practices in the poultry industry.

"Given the apparent connection between rising poultry prices for consumers and the history of anticompetitive practices in the poultry industry, I ask that you open a broad investigation into the impact of price-fixing, wage-fixing, and consolidation in the poultry industry on consumers and farmers," the Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement. 

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Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, on Monday tweeted how much Thanksgiving favorites increased in price, citing a recent Farm Bureau survey.. 

Meanwhile, Kyle Scott told Fox News: "Now, where everything is just wild inflation and everything is tighter, all the costs that we have that it takes to raise these birds are higher. So in order for us to continue our operation and serve our customers, we need to pass those costs onto our customers. Otherwise, we won't be here anymore."

Fox News' Megan Henney contributed to this report.